USPSA Area 1 Championship postponed

I received an email last night regarding the USPSA Area 1 Championship:

2020 Berrys Bullets Area 1 Championship
It is with much regret that we are forced to delay Area 1. Many efforts were made to continue as planned, however current governing COVID protocols prohibit us from moving forward as planned. We are working diligently to postpone with the hope to continue the last week of August. We will confirm dates as soon as possible and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Refunds for withdrawals will be extended until 30 days prior to match start date, which we hope for a start date of August 26th. We will keep everyone posted on any updates as they become available. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time and everyone on the Area 1 team look forward to seeing everyone in the near future.

Kind regards,
Tessina Hurley
Match Director
2020 Berry’s Area 1 Championship

I’m not surprised. Barb and were talking a couple hours before I got the email, “How are they going to do that with the current restrictions? How do they know the restrictions will be lifted so they can hold the event?”

Hurley and her staff were probably asking themselves similar questions yesterday.

I”m fine with that. It gives me more time to practice and get back to something approaching my normal skill level.

Rounds in the last month

I haven’t done any reloading since February. I was working very long hours and finally got that project done earlier this month. And with the COVID-19 thing I didn’t really want to go to the range anyway, so why spend the time reloading ammo I wasn’t going to shoot for a while? When I received the email saying the Area 1 Championship, which I had signed up for last year, was still on I decided it was time to start practicing and reloading.

Today I started reloading some 200 grain bullets in .40 S&W. I only completed round 104 when the indexer return spring broke on my Dillon XL650 press. It sort of looked like I should consider it a consumable and I ordered five of them. At $1.99 (plus $8.49 shipping) I decided to order five so I could quickly replace it when the next one dies.

After ordering I thought about it some more and realized I had never lubricated the spring. If I had it might have lasted longer (I had only reloaded 21,584 rounds when it died).

No matter. I’ll have spares and maybe they will last longer too.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 7592 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 2,126 rounds.
300 Savage: 50 rounds.
40 S&W: 109,877 rounds.
45 ACP: 2,007 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 144,049 rounds

We went for a drive

Barb and I have been on the more cautious side of the behavior spectrum in regards to avoiding risk of COVID-19. We have been going on almost daily walks but haven’t gone on any hikes in the woods and mountains like we usually would have by now. Last weekend we decided we would go for a drive and at least visit the mountains and enjoy the view of them from my car.

I found a place that looked like it had good views and we had never been. It’s the parking lot for the Alpental ski area:

BingMaps

It’s about a 45 minute drive from our place and I figured we could get out and walk around the parking lot some without having to worry about the whole social distancing thing on narrow trails. I expected something similar to what you see in the picture above.

We were surprised to find the parking lot almost completely full of cars with lots of people. Apparently my idea and choice of locations was not all that novel.

We managed to find a parking spot and took some pictures. There wasn’t much walking though. The weather and views were great so we accomplished our mission to get out of the house and do something a little special for our current circumstances and more like the normal we are looking forward to.

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I’m here to make a deposit

A couple days ago I had a check to deposit. With Tamara’s words from 11 days earlier still fresh in my mind I put on my white hat to indicate I was one of the good guys:

20200527_141412

I’m not sure it helped that much. But they did let me in the bank when the ATM didn’t want to allow the deposit so I couldn’t have been all that scary.

Quote of the day—Tribune Content Agency

The decline occurred despite a spike in gun sales that month.

The number of mass shooting incidents, killings and firearm injuries all dropped as states and cities took aggressive measures to contain the virus.

Tribune Content Agency
May 10, 2020
Mass shootings in US plunge during pandemic closures
[It was only six weeks earlier the anti-gun rights groups were “concerned” about the spike in gun sales:

Gun control advocates are concerned about a large number of new owners lacking the usual access to training on how to store and handle their weapon properly.

In fact, they wanted gun stores and ranges completely closed during this pandemic*.

So, once again, their “concerns” and/or predictions have been found to be not only false, but 180 degrees out of phase with reality. One could claim they are delusional. But, the truth is, they just lie all the time. It’s part of their culture.—Joe]


* Actually for all time, but they don’t usually admit to that.

Antibody tests

Last week Barb, her daughter Maddy, and I all had blood drawn for testing of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.

All results came back negative. We were pretty certain Barb and I would be negative. But Maddy was working in Brooklyn, New York until late March and told us horror stories of how tight people were packed on the subways. So, when she came home she was in quarantine for a while. But we thought maybe she picked it up without symptoms. Nope.

This is a little odd

I was in Idaho last weekend to do some Boomershoot stuff. No Boomershoot this year but there were various maintenance items to be taken care of.

I spent some time in Orofino and as I was driving into town I noticed a long line of stationary railroad tanker cars. I did my business in town and then stopped to look at the cars on my way out.

20200502_103105

With the huge drop in demand for oil products, I suspected they were full of oil because the oil producers were running out of storage space. I’m nearly certain that hypothesis was incorrect. As near as I could tell the tanks were empty. The cars had been stationary for a while too. Notice the rust on the wheel:

20200502_103226

According to the odometer on my vehicle the line of cars was about 1.1 miles long. And part of that line was double wide.

A couple days later I drove through Lenore. There I found another line of tanker cars.

This gave me visions of Atlas Shrugged as I thought of the economy grinding to a halt.

Quote of the day—Robert Higgs and Donald J. Boudreaux

Nothing is so permanent in government as a temporary agency or an emergency bill. Crises bring into operation new government activities and new scales of spending, taxing, and regulating; they were not intended to be permanent, yet became so by virtue of entrenched special interests and bureaucrats, often backed by congressional sponsors. Act in haste, repent at leisure.

Robert Higgs and Donald J. Boudreaux
May 5, 2020
Past Crises Have Ratcheted Up Leviathan–The COVID-19 Pandemic Will Too
[Politicians never let a crisis go to waste.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Rob Pincus

Not wearing a mask solely because the GOV says you should makes people look like petulant children and reinforces the idea (that many people have) that we NEED restrictions in place. Anyone preaching to not wear masks today that was advocating/defending masks at 2A Rallies a few months ago is revealing themselves as a contrarian, not an activist or objective advocate.

Rob Pincus
Facebook post on April 22, 2020
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Wayne A. Bush

What bothers me the most about finger-lickers isn’t the fact that they’re possibly spreading an untold plethora of illnesses or disease to the rest of us. I think what bothers me the most is the absolute display of rudeness and inconsideration for others. It’s just one more sign that our society is becoming increasingly ill-mannered.

Finger-lickers actually present a real threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2008-2011, flu deaths in the U.S. averaged 53,435 per year. In contrast, during those same years, an average of 30,736 people died by firearms (19,029 of which were suicides and 245 “other”).

Since, over a period of four years, 22,699 more people died of the flu rather than guns, maybe it’s time that the federal government act to criminalize finger-licking? After all, if it saves just one life, don’t we have an obligation to try?

Wayne A. Bush
February 21, 2013
Finger Licking … Bad
[He’s got a point. This is particularly true with the higher death rate for COVID-19 infections.

But he is buying into the assumption that gun control is about reducing criminal and accidental deaths and injuries. A review of firearm law and results show such laws don’t make the general population safer.

Also, people get really weird in their thinking about contagious diseases. For example, there have been studies on how people would react to learning they unintentionally infected another person with an easily treated sexually transmitted disease versus unintentionally infecting someone with a flu and the other person died as a result. People are far more concerned/embarrassed/ashamed/whatever about the easily treated sexually transmitted disease than killing someone with the flu.

Criminalizing finger licking versus criminalizing gun ownership? I know what the choice of 90% of the population would be if they were required to chose one or the other.*—Joe]


* My choice would be to spit in the face of the person demanding I must chose one or the other. Then, I would shoot them.

Social distancing

The title claims “Ultimate in Old School Social Distancing”. While carrying a rifle down the sidewalk with an extended bayonet would grant you greater social distancing for a few minutes I expect the distance would be considerably shortened by the end of your walk as the police stopped by to have a chat with you.

Also, I expect an experienced Boomershooter could maintain something much closer to “ultimate” distancing than someone using a bayonet to keep the distance.

Quote of the day—Hannah Furfaro

People will remain at risk until most are immune to the virus either through vaccination or extensive community spread, said Yonatan Grad, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Without a vaccine, the end of the pandemic here could go like this: aggressive social distancing will help flatten the number of infected at any given time, but to prevent a serious reemergence, widespread testing is needed to detect those who have the virus, and those who are immune. Government officials will need to get serious about tracing who has come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the disease, Grad said. Once the virus is under control, he added, officials should attempt to keep infected people elsewhere from bringing the coronavirus back to Washington.

Hannah Furfaro
April 8, 2020
Coronavirus has closed Washington’s schools, at least through summer. When will it be safe to return?
[There are predictions the peak in resource use and daily deaths will in less than a week. But that assumes “full social distancing through May 2020”.

I don’t see May being a time we can return to normal. “Normal” will not return until there is a vaccine or herd immunity. Even then, because of our prolonged work from home and social distancing we will have made drastic changes in our society. I expect many companies will shed major portions of their office space. I expect schools will have made significant migration to online teaching.

I see some of this as a very good thing. For many jobs the office space and commuting in a era of high speed digital communications is a waste of resources. Imagine the time, fuel, construction materials, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water, sewer, trash, and transportation bandwidth saved without there being “the office” to go to.

There will be a component of individual responsibility take place that I see as good as well. The need to be “in the city” will dramatically decrease. This will change the demographics and the politics of the nation and the world.

I see the loss of a major portion of the restaurants and small shops in our future. Large retailers will survive only because of their online sales. If something can be sold online and delivered in a small vehicles by one person who drops a package at your door there will be very few local shops which carry it. Items which need special handling such as perishable foods will be the partial exceptions.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—bitterb @bitterb

It seems that “Holy Shit March” is a phrase we can just use for everything in life at this point.

bitterb @bitterb
Tweeted on April 2, 2020
[This was in response to this tweet by Tamara K. @TamSlick which I was seriously considering for a QOTD in it’s own right until bitter topped it:

Almost four million NICS checks in March. That’s a lotta guns.

It’s interesting to see the normalcy bias in action. Six months ago I, in my rational mind, knew something like this was possible but it didn’t feel possible in any reality I might experience. Today, working from home, seldom going to stores, wearing a mask when you do, and wiping down everything that has had recent contact with another human before it comes in the house feels ordinary.—Joe]

The range is open

I haven’t been to the range in several weeks now. And probably won’t for a while still. But the range I go to most frequently (Bellevue) sent out an email a few minutes ago:

Why is Our Range Open?
We have many clients who work in law enforcement or in the private security sector. These individuals must maintain
firearms proficiency for their personal safety and to meet professional certification requirements. We have other clients who don’t fall into the above categories but have personal circumstances which make firearms proficiency a priority for them.
 
Additionally, many families perceive an increased need for all members to have familiarity with defensive firearms. It is especially important that these new or less experienced shooters have the opportunity to learn and practice safe firearms handling skills in a controlled environment.
 
Federal guidelines recognize the above issues and have designated firearms retailers and ranges as essential critical infrastructure.
 
Our opinion is that each individual should have the opportunity to make an assessment of their personal risk factors and act according to that assessment.
 
What are we doing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission?

Traveling alone in your vehicle does not increase your risk or the risk to anyone else. The risk of COVID-19 transmission is increased most significantly by close interpersonal contact.
 
Upon arrival, clients are asked to maintain 6’ or more of distance while waiting to approach the check-in-counter one client at a time (unless in a group of two who already share close social distancing.)
 
Clients are assigned shooting lanes one person per booth. (The only exception is that two family members who already share close social distancing may share a booth.)
 
Once on the range shooters are separated from each other by over six feet of space and two partitions (we leave an empty booth between each shooter.)
 
The ventilation system on the range provides constant air flow away from the shooters.
 
Upon exiting the range all clients are directed to wash their hands in the bathrooms located in the range lobby.
 
All surfaces that people contact are cleaned multiple times during each day.
 
Going to a shooting range is not the best choice for all persons at this particular time. It is however an essential activity for some people and an activity which can be engaged in without significant risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The range will be open Thursday through Sunday,
10am to 8pm until further notice.

Quote of the day—Stephen P. Halbrook

Americans should be mindful of the dangers of “emergency” decrees. History tells us that government diktats in response to man-made and natural disasters often lead to unprecedented restrictions on individual liberty that last long after the disasters are forgotten.

Stephen P. Halbrook
March 31. 2020
Will the Second Amendment Survive Coronavirus?
[I strongly agree.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan M. Gottlieb

While we pursue litigation elsewhere we’re happy that the situation in New Jersey has changed. Regardless what some politicians might think, the Second Amendment is not subject to emergency orders, same as the First, Fourth, Fifth or other constitutional protections.

This is one more example of SAF’s ongoing mission to win back firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time.

Alan M. Gottlieb
SAF founder and Executive Vice President
March 30, 2020
N.J. GOV. MURPHY BACKS DOWN, ALLOWS GUN SHOPS BACK OPEN IN SAF VICTORY
[I think legislative action is going to be increasingly difficult and even impossible in many states. The courts is where we have to fight and win. It appears to me that SAF is on the leading edge of this.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Kris Brown

State and local governments are well within their constitutional rights to broadly close businesses in order to prevent the spread and flatten the curve, and they are definitely not required to designate gun industry businesses as ‘essential’ and keep them open. There is no constitutional right to immediately buy or sell guns, and there is certainly no right to spread coronavirus while buying or selling guns.

Kris Brown
President of Brady United
March 29, 2020
BRADY OPPOSES DESIGNATION OF GUN STORES AS ‘ESSENTIAL’’ BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
[I find it very telling Brown refers to the “rights” of governments. Governments don’t have rights. They have enumerated powers granted to them by the people.

When and how did the people give governments the power to force people to stop or delay the exercise of a specific enumerated right?

Answer: The people did not give governments any such power.

Apparently Brown believes governments have rights and, if they should chose to do so, sometimes grants them to people. Brown has it exactly backward. The people have rights and grant certain power to governments to protect those rights*.

With such an upside down view of reality Brown’s opinion should be given as much respect as a flat earther or an space alien abductee.

While I agree there is “no right to spread coronavirus while buying or selling guns”. That isn’t the issue. One can buy and/or sell guns without putting others at risk of a deadly disease. Public health officials can certainly put appropriate restriction in place to prevent that without a ban on selling or buying. We are still buy and selling food aren’t we? A complete ban is no more appropriate than a complete ban on religion because religious organizations traditionally gather in enclosed spaces to worship.

I would also like to remind Brown that a right delayed is a right denied**.—Joe]


* “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

**Although Martin Luther King, Jr. is frequently credited with this, as near as I can tell, King never said it.

Quote of the day—Christopher C. Krebs

Functioning critical infrastructure is imperative during the response to the COVID-19 emergency for both public health and safety as well as community well-being. Certain critical infrastructure industries have a special responsibility in these times to continue operations.

This advisory guidance and accompanying list are intended to support state, local, tribal, territorial and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and that need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.

Christopher C. Krebs
Director
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
March 28, 2020
MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE
[Emphasis added.

There are some weasel words which give local area discretion to add or remove items but SAF and the NRA have been suing the politicians who have been shutting down gun stores:

I’m surprised at the lack of howling from anti-gun ownership groups. The worst I have seen so far is from the Gifford group:

Even some gun control advocates say it might not be wise to shut down federally licensed firearms dealers, whose sales require background checks. That could force buyers to use a website or seek a private sale that doesn’t require a check, making it more difficult to trace a firearm if it’s used in a crime.

There are risks to both closing a gun shop or keeping it open, said David Chipman, a retired agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“If you keep it open, there’s the risk of first-time buyers who are largely buying out of fear and panic and untrained,” said Chipman, now senior policy adviser for Giffords, a gun control advocacy group.

Gun control advocates are concerned about a large number of new owners lacking the usual access to training on how to store and handle their weapon properly. They also worry that Americans who are stocking up now eventually will sell their firearms privately.

“If we can imagine how horrible this crisis is … the people who hoarded the guns might decide six months from now – once they see no zombies around but they’ve run out of tuna and beef jerky – that they need the money to buy food,” Chipman said.

Millions of new gun owners has to be the nightmare scenario for these groups. This is a silver lining in the dark cloud of COVID-19.—Joe]

COVID-19 news you can use

How you can reuse N95 masks. It’s a very technical paper but the takeaways I got from it are:

  • The N95 mask gets most of its filtration capability from semi-permanently electrically charged particles in the mask material.
  • Attempting to clean the masks with alcohol or even alcohol vaper will SERIOUSLY degrade the filtration ability of the mask. Don’t do that!
  • “…it is reported (if it is true) that COVID-19 cannot survive at 65C for 30 minutes. Therefore, it is safe to treat the masks in hot air at 70C for 30 minutes and this process can be repeated multiple times to reuse the masks without a noticeable loss of efficiency. But be sure to suspend the masks in the hot air in the oven without contacting or putting the masks too close to a metal surface. The respirator can be hung in the oven using a wood or a plastic clip on its edge of non-breathing zone or put on a wood grill at least 6” away from a metal surface.”
  • “…our investigation showed that the charge loss on the electret is unnoticeable by sterilization using 125oC steam for three minutes.”
  • “…our investigation showed that the charge loss on the media is unnoticeable in boiling water for three minutes but stirring on the mask is not recommended to avoid its physical damage.”
  • If you plan to use water to sterilize the mask “…be sure that the inner or the outer veil of the mask is not made of paper-like tissues – paper pulp or nonwovens bond by water soluble binder, which will either dissolve in water resulting in loose fibers in the veil or the loss of its strength after exposing to water.”

To save you a minute or so of your time, 70C is 158F and 125C is 257F.